Free Essay

Living Organisms

In: Science

Submitted By langnc01
Words 1430
Pages 6
| The Effects of Methylmercury in Fish | | | Nicole Lange | 4/4/2011 |

|

Nicole Lange
Topic Paper
SPEA H316
April 4, 2011

The Effects of Methyl Mercury in Fish
Living Organisms, such as Fish, have the capacity to methylate mercury compounds present in pollution. Mercury is most commonly found in industrial waste, mine tailings, agricultural drain water impoundments, and atmospheric disposition from electrical power. The effects of methyl mercury found in fish have more negative than positive effects on our diet and environment. With the growing pollution in our City Rivers and other areas mercury found in fish is becoming more of an anomaly. With many studies it has been proven that the effects of methyl mercury can be devastating in certain situations and in others has somewhat of a positive outcome, however the positives are not from in taking methyl mercury, the only benefits are from eating the proper servings suggested by the American Heart Association. With my research on whether you should cut back in consuming fish because of the contaminates they may carry have been based more on emotion than fact. However, I have found many useful facts that have left me with the conclusion that living aquatic organisms, such as fish, hold great nutrition when measured in appropriate servings for your diet.
Even with the threat of methyl mercury in fish it still is a part of a healthy diet. Fish and other aquatic organisms are the major sources of healthful long-chain omega-3 fats and are also filled with other nutrients such as vitamin D and selenium, high in protein, and low in saturated fat. Eating fish is not a bad thing it is just important to watch the amount you eat and most importantly the history of the fish you are in taking. In most cases the best kind of fish to eat is fresh salt water fish. That is not always a guarantee that the fish does not contain methyl mercury, it just may not be as heavily concentrated with methyl mercury as most. Having a healthy fish diet can lead to a good heart and good blood vessels. It is suggested that eating approximately one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish a week which would be salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines have the capability to reduce your risk of dying from heart disease by 36 percent. Eating fish helps fight your chances of getting heart disease in many different ways. The omega-3 fats in fish can protect the heart against the development of any erratic and potentially deadly cardiac rhythmic disturbances. They can also lower your blood pressure and your heart rate, improve the way that your blood vessels function, and, with higher doses it can also be found to lower triglycerides and have the possibility to ease inflammation. This strong and consistently proven scientific evidence of the benefits of eating fish is from the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Heart Association, and many others who all suggest that everyone should eat fish twice a week. The serving for pregnant women however is adjusted to a much lower in take determined on the trimester of the pregnancy.
Eating fish has its many benefits; however, there are negatives repercussions if you go over the recommended servings. The negative sides of consuming fish are formed in their aquatic environment. Methyl mercury is formed from inorganic mercury from anaerobic organisms which live in lakes, rivers, wetlands, sediments, and the ocean. Most of the fish in the ocean are more likely to be less inhabited by methyl mercury, although the problem still exists there. This process converts inorganic mercury into methyl mercury in its co-existing environment. It can start with the aquatic food chain, which begins with bacteria which then forms to plankton this process builds in concentration as it forms to herbivorous fish and piscivorous fish (aquatic organisms that feed off of other fish). The methyl mercury increases in concentration at each step. With the concentration increase it becomes more harmful to the species and to the human race, most commonly harmful to women who are pregnant and young children that range in age from newborn to 3 years of age. The problem still exists with adults but is not as high of a risk hazard. With the given nutritional facts of Fish they can become a healthy diet for women who are in their reproductive stages. This is mostly from the omega- 3 fatty acid which helps with the neurological development of the fetus. However, some fish species contain considerable methyl mercury, which inhabits the placenta and has many various harmful effects on neurobehavioral development which exists during the pregnancy. The most common effects of methyl mercury on the fetus have been brain damage, learning disabilities, and even hearing loss. In some of the more severe cases the effects of methyl mercury to the fetus can result in death of the fetus. With these findings Doctors have advised women who are pregnant to have a very low intake of fish as it can be very harmful on the fetus during the trimesters of pregnancy. With this being said methyl mercury can also be harmful to anyone who is exposed, although not as severe, the threat of infection to the body still exists.
Methyl mercury has many ways it can harm and infect us. Methyl mercury in food, such as aquatic organisms like fish, is particular health hazard because they are taken up into the body through the stomach and intestines. It can be a very harmful and acts like a poison to our nervous system and increases in exposure may affect the heart and circulatory system. Although very far from conclusive some of the evidence has been made that methyl mercury can cause cancer in humans, not proven in its entirety there are still ongoing tests to prove that methyl mercury may be a possible cause to cancer, one of the more serious threats from methyl mercury. Exposure to methyl mercury in humans caused by fish varies on the species and environment of the fish and its exposure to industrial pollutants. Although eating fish once or twice a week can prevent and reduce the risk of stroke, depression, Alzheimer's disease, and other chronic conditions. The possible risks are frightening. With the numerous pollutants that make their way into the foods we eat like fruits and vegetables to eggs and meat. Fish are no exception. Methyl mercury is one of the most controversial concerns of today. Polychlorinated biphenyls, dioxins, and pesticide residues are also among the concerns in the contamination of our food. With high levels of methyl mercury it can damage nerves in adults and disrupt development of the brain and the nervous system in a fetus or young child. The controversy still exists on lower levels of methyl mercury. However progress made on different studies has shown that there were small changes in the nervous system development and also a possible increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
A balance could be formulated which would conclude that staying in the regulated serving sizes of fish per week would be a benefit. Not consuming fish could increase your risk for heart disease. This is due to the lack of the very important omega 3 that our bodies need to help fight off heart disease and other infections. However if studies have been proven that you can in fact get cancer from consuming to much methyl mercury found in fish then it is still is suggested and even recommended that if you stay in the appropriate servings of fish you would be better off and benefit. The warnings for women who are in their reproductive stages still stand as set in their appropriate guidelines. If these guidelines are strictly and thoroughly followed by women in their reproductive stages and who are pregnant, eating fish would have a healthy benefit to the fetus and to themselves as well.
In conclusion the risks of consuming methyl mercury can be severely devastating. The positives are based only on the dietary nutrition found in fish which are omega-3 and natural fats. With risks such as damage to your nervous system, damaged blood vessels, disrupting of brain and its development, and even the threat of cancer makes it imperative that you follow your dietary guidelines and consult with your doctor in certain situations in which problems occur. Most of these results are conclusive, but there are still ongoing tests and new research being on methyl mercury and its effects on the environment and humans.

Similar Documents

Premium Essay

Language as a Living Organism

...Language is a living organism which should be spoken or written in order to survive. Language is passed from one generation to another as parents pass their language on to their children and so on, so the language continues to live. Languages ​​such as English, Spanish and Chinese ​​are healthy languages. They exist in oral and written forms and are used by hundreds of millions of people around the world. But most of the approximately seven thousand languages ​​are not as healthy. They are used by very few people as children do not learn from their parents. As a result, these languages ​​are in danger of disappearing. When, however a language is dying? A language dies when the last person to speak it, dies. This happens in many parts of the world. There are dozens of languages ​​that have only one speaker. According to Professor Harrison “The key to revitalizing a language is by motivating a new generation of speakers”. In my opinion this statement is absolutely truth as languages are staying alive only if they are spoken rather than written. It is important to note that there are many languages that do not have a written form but they have been surviving for many thousands of years orally. Consequently it is really important to prevent these languages from disappearing because its language represents the culture and the tradition of a nation as well as the knowledge of the people speaking the language....

Words: 282 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Living Organisms Can Play Important Role in Ecosystems

...LIVING ORGANISMS CAN PLAY IMPORTANT ROLE IN ECOSYSTEMS. DISCUSS HOW AN ORGANISM OF YOUR CHOICE PLAYS KEY ROLE IN AN ECOSYSTEM. SHOW HOW HUMAN ACTIVITY HAS HAD AN IMPACT ON BOTH THE ORGANISM AND THE ECOSYSTEM. The relationship among living organisms, ecosystems and human activity is close and dependent on each other. Living organisms and human activity can support and maintain the health of ecosystems while human activity is able to have adverse impacts on both organisms and ecosystems. Sea turtle also plays key role in the sea ecosystem. This essay will indicate the important roles of sea turtles on two sea ecosystem, beaches and marine systems, and negative effects of human activity on the turtle and sea ecosystem. Sea turtles have played vital roles in maintaining the health of the world’s oceans for more than 100 million years. According to Ruckdeschel and Shoop (2006, p.2), there are seven species of sea turtles in the world’s oceans, including flatback, green, hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, leatherback, loggerhea and olive ridley. The roles of those species consist of maintaining healthy seagrass beds and coralreefs, providing habitat for other marine life, helping to balance marine food webs and facilitating nutrient cycling from water to land. To more specific, there is an influence of sea turtles on seagrass beds. Sea turtles, especially green sea turtles, is an animal eating seagrass....

Words: 788 - Pages: 4

Free Essay

Human Resource

...Organismic Analogy: An important work of Spencer which was shared with both Comte and Durkheim was his theory of organic analogy in which he developed the tendency to see society as an organism. He borrowed his concepts from biology. He was concerned with overall structure of society, the interrelationship of the parts of society, and the functions of the parts for each other as well as for the system as a whole. He had compared the society with a living organism by taking into account the...

Words: 1157 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Cartagena Protocol

...Proto/ang 11/13/2000 3:39 PM Page 181 CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY TEXT AND ANNEXES Proto/ang 11/13/2000 3:39 PM Page 182 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety CARTAGENA PROTOCOL ON BIOSAFETY TO THE CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY TEXT AND ANNEXES Montreal, 2000 Proto/ang 11/13/2000 3:39 PM Page 184 Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety Introduction Montreal, 2000 Copyright © 2000, Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity ISBN: 92-807-1924-6 This publication may be reproduced for educational or non-profit purposes without special permission from the copyright holders, provided acknowledgement of the source is made. The Secretariat of the Convention would appreciate receiving a copy of any publications that uses this publication as a source. For bibliographic and reference purpose this publication should be referred to as: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (2000). Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity: text and annexes. Montreal: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. This booklet contains the text of the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity, which starts on page 2. Published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity For further information, please contact: The Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity World Trade Centre 393 St. Jacques, Suite......

Words: 9898 - Pages: 40

Premium Essay

Sadfsfs

...Characteristics of Living Things Objective: 1. Identify the characteristics of living things. 1. Living things are highly organized, from the smallest part to the largest. On the chemical level: atoms make up elements. Each element has a specific number of electrons that orbit the nucleus. In the center of the element, the nucleus has protons and neutrons. The number of protons in an element is always equal to the number the electrons. The number of neutrons may vary to make isotopes of that element. Elements come together to give up, accept or equally share electrons to make molecules. The smallest part of an organism is a cell. Some single-celled organisms are free-living and contain structures, called organelles that allow them to be self-sufficient. More complex organisms are multicellular. In the case of a human, cells are organized into tissues. These have a common function like a muscle. Tissues are organized into organs like the heart. Organs are organized into organ systems, like the cardiovascular system. Organ systems functioning together make up a living organism. A population is an organization of more than one individual. This is generally all of one species in a particular area. We could talk about the population of squirrels in our area or dogs or cats. Enlarging our view, next comes a community. An example of a community is the town or place we live. A more accurate biological description would include all the living things in that area....

Words: 1333 - Pages: 6

Premium Essay

Characteristics of Living Things

...Characteristics of Living Organisms In order to identify living organisms, scientists listed 7 characteristics which all living organisms have: 1. Nutrition: Taking in nutrients which are organic substances and mineral ions, containing raw materials and energy for growth and tissue repair, absorbing and assimilating them. 2. Excretion: Removal from organisms of toxic materials, the waste products of metabolism and substances in excess. 3. Respiration: Chemical reactions that break down nutrient molecules in living cells to release energy. 4. Sensitivity: The ability to detect or sense changes in the environment and to make responses. 5. Reproduction: Progresses that make more of the same kind of organism. 6. Growth: The permanent increase in size and dry mass by an increase in number of cells, cell size, or both. 7. Movement: An action by an organism or part of an organism that changes position or place. The seven characteristics could be memorized by the term “Mrs. Gren”. Definitions: Metabolism: Chemical reactions taking place in cells. Stimuli: Changes in the environment which organisms response to. Characteristics of living things There are seven activities which make organisms different from non-living things. These are the seven characteristics of living organisms. 1. Nutrition Living things take in materials from their surroundings that they use for growth or to provide energy....

Words: 435 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Living Things

...Theme#2 - Organization Complex organization patterns are found in all living organisms. They arrange themselves on very small levels, grouping like things together. On larger levels, they become visible. This also has to do with differentiation, as the cells are organized in a manner that makes sense for the organism after they change to what they'll be in the final organism. Theme#3 - Energy Use All organisms use energy. The sum of the chemical...

Words: 620 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Literature

...All life forms, including humans, evolved from earlier species, and all still living species of organisms continue to evolve today.  They are not unchanging end-products. For those who have difficulty in accepting evolution because of what they perceive as contradictions with their fundamental religious beliefs, it may be useful to distinguish the ultimate origin of life from its later evolution.  Many, if not most, biological scientists accept that primordial life on earth began as a result of chance natural occurrences 3.5-4 billion years ago.  However, it is not necessary to believe in that view in order to accept that living creatures evolved by natural means after the origin of the first life.  Charles Darwin modified his religious beliefs, as did many others, as a result of the discovery of convincing proof of evolution.  Darwin's religious faith was also severely challenged by the death...

Words: 2318 - Pages: 10

Free Essay

Organisms in a Drop of Water

...We easily see living organisms that are huge in size like gorillas and for some cases, even small organisms like ants. However, not all living organisms are of size that we can easily visualize. These organisms, the microorganisms, are...

Words: 1947 - Pages: 8

Free Essay

Environmental Hazards Paper

...Environmental Hazards Paper Eric Houston ENV 100 8 September 2014 Wendy Armstrong In this paper I will be discussing what toxicants are and how they affect living organisms. I will also cover disease-causing agents and how they are transmitted. Last but not least I will go over how changes in the environment contribute to human diseases and are linked by human activities. Environmental hazards affect human population in many ways and we must be aware of the problems. Toxicants are man-made (synthetic) substances that present a risk of death, disease, injury, or birth defects in living organisms through absorption, ingestion, inhalation, or by altering the organism’s environment ("What Is Toxicant?", 2014). Toxicants are made by humans while toxins are produced naturally by living organisms. Examples of toxicants are pesticide, chlorine, asbestos, and mold. Toxicants can affect living organisms in many ways. One way that toxicants can affect living organisms is by killing off marine life. If the substance gets into the water it can cause fish and invertebrates to start to die. It can also include a change in the abundance, structure and variety of biological communities and habitats. The fish can also cause health risks to consumers of those organisms. The next things I will discuss are disease-causing agents. A disease causing agent is often referred to as a pathogen....

Words: 445 - Pages: 2

Premium Essay

Viruses

...They are called “acellular” which means that they do not rely on the normal life processes of other living organisms. Although, they do contain many other properties of life. This is why they are included with the other taxonomies. [pic]...

Words: 827 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

What Is Life

...MICHAEL AWUAH DENKYIRAH BIO/101-PRINCIPLES OF BIOLOGY NOVEMBER 16TH, 2013. JEBA INBARASU 1. Find a media piece—article, video, presentation, song, or other—related to the scientific method, creating hypotheses, or designing experiments. Include the link or reference citation for the piece and describe how it helped you better understand how the scientific method is used to create hypotheses and experiments. Answer: The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for distinguioshing the truth from lies and delusions. The scientific method is just a list of steps that one needs to follow when solving a problem. The procedures for scientific methods are: a. Questions and Observation: One must observe some aspect of the universe and ask questions about it. Do research about the observation. b. Experiment and Evidence: Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis that is consistent with what you have observed .Use the hypothesis to make guesses or predictions .Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results. c. Analyzing the date and draw conclusions from the experiments d. Publishing our final results into journals or a display board for other professionals to examine our scientific work. When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a...

Words: 1016 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Wilder Sampson

... Literally means “study of life”  The science that deals with structures, functions, and relationship of living things and their environment.  A broad science that can be studied in various levels – molecular, cellular, organismal, population, community, or ecosystem BASIC STRUCTURE OF SCIENCE  Biology has evolved as a field of science since it was first studied in ancient civilizations  Science is a process that requires the testing of ideas using evidence gathered from the natural world. Science is iterative in nature and involves critical thinking, careful data collection, rigorous peer review, and the communication of results.  Science also refers to the body of knowledge produced by scientific investigation. SCIENTIFIC METHOD  Refers to the working habits of practicing scientist.  Involves rigorous application of common sense to the study and analysis of data.  Refers to the model for research developed by Francis Bacon (15611626) SCIENTIFIC METHOD a. Observations - lead to questions that require answers. b. Hypothesis - a testable statement proposed to answer a question. c. Experiments - (often with controls and variables) are devised to test hypotheses. d. Analysis of the results of an experiment will lead to the hypothesis being accepted or rejected. SCIENTIFIC REASONING Inductive Reasoning  from specific observations to broader generalization & theories....

Words: 819 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Not Yet

...Differentiate Living things from non-living things according to: Organization All living organisms have a definite shape and size as well as physical and chemical composition inherited from their parents. This is possible because of a high degree of organization. The molecules of which an organism is made up are organized into cells, which in turn are organized into tissues, organs and organ systems making the whole individual. This kind of complex organization is not found in non-living things. Metabolism Green plants obtain their nourishment from the environment in the form of water, carbon dioxide, and certain minerals which are utilized to synthesize carbohydrates during photosynthesis. Carbohydrates are in turn broken down during respiration and the energy thus released is used to synthesize other organic compounds like lipids, proteins, nucleic acids, etc. which make up the body. Animals, bacteria and fungi, on the other hand, obtain nourishment in the form of organic compounds and utilize them to synthesize compounds they need. Such reactions do not occur in non-living objects. Growth and Development Living organisms often arise from a single cell which divides and re-divides to form a large number of cells that differentiate into the various organs of the body. These kind of phenomena are not known in the non-living world....

Words: 512 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Viruses

...They are called “acellular” which means that they do not rely on the normal life processes of other living organisms. Although, they do contain many other properties of life. This is why they are included with the other taxonomies. [pic]...

Words: 827 - Pages: 4